Memories of the Challenger

This is one page of many, check out the intro at I Remember Challenger for others.

This page currently edited by: Dagwood. Past editor: Junior

9th Grade. Forgot all about the launch. I was outside on a bench during lunch break. Got up to walk back to class and saw this weird cloud. (I lived in St. Petersburg, FL, about 150-170 miles from the launch site. On a clear day, you could see the smoke trail off in the distance.) Looked strange with a ball at the top. I didn't know what to make of it. Went back into class and EVERY classroom had their TV on the news. Very, very sad day. Very surreal. It wasn't until 9/11/01 that I felt that feeling again. Stunned silence. Yes, I still remember you, Challenger. If any of you get to Kennedy Space Center in FL, go see the memorial. Very nicely done.

From: Shane

As I watched the news, on Sept 11, 2001, I was taken back to when I was a Junior in high school, I was in English when the Challenger exploded, they had shown it in the schools, because there was a schoolteacher going up, I was so proud of Mrs. Christa McAuliffe getting a chance to go up into space and sending school lessons back down to Earth to all the schoolage children. Christa McAuliffe and the crew of the Space Shuttle Challenger are still sorely missed by their families and friends. GOD BLESS THEM.

From: Sandy Layton

I remember that day vividly. I was in kindergarten in a small town just a short distance from the Kennedy Space Center. My family and I had seen many shuttle flights (but they were still new enough to be exciting). Because a teacher was on the flight, all the students in my elementary school were brought outside to watch the take-off. And watch we the Challenger exploded. And I remember seeing the tanks go through our town on the way to the site. I remember the phrase "there's been an anomaly" on the television. And in case my memory ever fails, I have a snapshot, taken by my motherm of the explosion. She had a camera ready, but she had no idea her picture would be such a tragic one. God bless those men and women and their families. We still remember.

From: rachelanne

I remember watching it on the big screen television in our student union building on the campus of Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. Nothing but silence.

From: Gary Lewis

When the Challenger exploded, I was in the first grade. But I wasn't at school. I was at home, sick with the flu. Me and my grandmother were watching the live coverage on TV. I remember my grandmother making "Tsk, tsk" noises and shaking her head. I also remember all the hype maybe a week before the launch, all the elementary school kids made NASA shuttle models. Sometime after the tragedy, a Punky Brewster episode aired involving the Challenger launch. It just happens to be career day, and Punky's future career of choice is to be an astronaut. She shows up at school dressed like one. Her school also is excited about the upcoming event. I distinctly remember in this episode, Punky storms through the front door, face tear-stained. She cries "Henry!" then runs into his arms.

From: Jennifer

I was fifteen. I remember that I'd gotten out of school and I'd just gotten off the city bus in downtown Charlotte, NC, USA. I don't remember if I'd gotten out of school to go to a doctor's appt or if it had already happened and everybody'd been sent home. All I remember is I was standing on the sidewalk right in the center of Charlotte's downtown business district (Trade and Tryon) when this big black extra long Chevy pickup truck pulled up. Somebody threw a bound stack of newspapers out the back onto the sidewalk. It was an Extra edition and it had the shot of the smoke trails. I remember looking down at the shot and that's the memory I have in my head.

From: Rob

I was in the 5th grade when I heard about the Challenger disaster. Me and some other kids were dismissed early because we were in the safety patrol so I was actually outside when someone told us. My mom was a teacher and had actually applied for the spot that Christa McAuliffe had received on the shuttle. I remember that really hitting home for me. I remember watching it on T.V and not really knowing what happened. I think everyone was like..."wait that isn't suppose to be happening." I remember seeing the video of all the astronauts walking out and waving to the cameras. I was just a kid but it was all very sad.

From: Celina

Dick Scobee was one of the graduates of the high school I graduated from. I remember that my physics teacher was especially proud of him, and I think he had every right to be. I was in Jacksonville, Florida, when the Challenger was launched in January 1986, at a military training school at NAS Jacksonville. The morning was boring so I spent much of the lunch break wandering around the PX with headphones on, not really understanding why everyone was all staring at the TV sets. I knew the shuttle was to have gone up sometime earlier that week, but the cold weather seemed to be working against a launch anytime soon. Indeed, the morning of the launch, they had snow in the north end of town. So with everyone staring at the TV sets, it never really registered that it was something important. When I came back from lunch to find everyone looking all grim, and then getting the explanation that the Challenger had blown up, I thought it was a joke. Then I found out it was serious. I might have seen Scobee once... we had a couple astronauts visit us at the high school. But I never really had the chance to meet him. Still, a foundation of my early years was shaken in that incident. I'll leave it at that.

From: Ben M. Angel

I can not exactly remember the Challenger but I will always remember the day and the time. You see I do not know much of it yet I feel as though with the seven astronaut's deaths that they let six other children and myself begin a new and wonderful life. I was born one hour and eight minutes before the "Challenger" exploded and throughout the next hour and eight minutes six more children were born in the same hospital. So in my mind I find those seven astraunats to be us seven children in the world and the single teacher that lost her life to be a role model for us to succeed (since she was a teacher and succeeded herself). In a way I guess even through the tragedy of that day I feel special to have been born, exspecially since I wasn't due until Febuary 4, 1986. I do not want to be an astronaut even though I used to want to be one, now I take intrest in horses and am suceeding to the best of my ability in that specialty. I guess you could say in a way I take part in flying, when I jump my horse it is like time freezes into this precios memory of him and I just how all of you remember that moment in time when the "Challenger" exploded, you'll always remember that. I give my thanks to all of the people on the "Challenger" that day and hope the other six children born in the hospital with me, have a wonderful life and succeed.

From: Jami Talianek

I remember I had taken that day off from work and I heard it on the radio. I then turn on the T.V. and I was still in shock. I had dreamt a few months earlier that a space shuttle carrying Krista McAuliffe work spin helplessly into orbit, never to be found. I still can't explain the irony of it all.

From: Jon C.

It was my Jr. year in High School and I was in between 2nd and 3rd periods. I was going to my Psychics class that was taught by Mr. Perry. A little background on Mr. Perry. He was one of the original scientists to work on the shuttle program for NASA. Needless to say, we didn't have class that day as Mr. Perry was incredibly shaken by the accident. Mr. Perry would often stray from Psychics whenever a student would ask him of his days working on the was one way to get out of Psychics homework.;)

From: Frank Espinosa

I was eleven years old when the challenger disaster occured. I watched the launch live on TV and can still remember the horrible silence which followed the explosion. 17 years on, I just wanted to say that those Astronauts are not forgoten.

From: james

I was only two and a half years old at the time, but I remember the day that Challenger exploded. I think that the images of the explosion are my first memory; at least, the first memory that I can affix a date to. It was horrifying. Those images weren't surpassed in terms of horror, I think, until 9/11. Equally blessed and cursed are we to have such horrific images seared into our consciousness.

From: Juliette

I remember the Challenger explosion very, very well. I was in 8th grade at the time. We had a snow day so I was at home all day just goofing off, playing Nintendo or something like that. I turned on the TV that morning and decided to watch the takeoff. I remember seeing the smoke but it didn't really dawn on me what had just happened. About 10 minutes later I ran in my parent's bedroom and woke up my dad, and said "The Challenger just exploded!!" I will always remember that teacher, and how everyone was so happy for her that she was chosen to get to go up in space. I am kicking myself right now for not remembering her name......

From: Tina Nelson

I was a sophomore in high school in January of 1986. I was driving back into the school parking lot after a lesson in the drivers' ed car when we heard on the radio that the Challenger had exploded. I stopped the car abruptly in the middle of the parking lot upon hearing the news. I remember no conversation between the other student in the car, the instructor and me. I just remember hurrying to the school library, where a television was set up and students and teachers were watching the explosion playing over and over and over. What a sad, sad day.

From: Joe

I am so sorry that this happened. I am writing to to show my emotions . Stay strong God Bless America United We Stand

From: Few David

I was not alive when the Challenger launched, I was born about a year and 11 months later. I am now doing an Intenational Day project on the Challenger and just reading what caused the explosion and how this accident had a major impact on the world. It made me think about how the adults I look at today are looking at us the students to make our nation even greater and things that we must do to make our nation greater is to do something like this again to see what it is like to have that occur.

From: Anonymous

I remember it well. I had just turned 17 a few weeks before. I had left school early for the work study program and when I got home my dad was watching the launch on TV so I sat and watched it with him and a few seconds later the explosion happended. We both looked at each other and said "holy shit, I don't believe it" I can't believe it's been 14 years already. Time is ticking away too fast.

From: Gina

I remember the day the Challenger exploded. I was in the third-grade, and we were watching it on the television. All of the teachers in my school were so excited that another teacher was able to go up into space. When the explosion happened, both of my teachers began sobbing. I remember feeling extremely sad and confused during the entire day. I had never experienced such a tragedy until that day. It was the first time I ever questioned "the man above" about why such horrible things happen to people.

From: Michelle

I was in 5th grade and I remember hearing about it from a teacher when she came into the class to tell us what happend, but it didn't sink in until we went home and it was re-played on the tv news over and over again.

From: Denise

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